(TargetLiberty.org) – Nothing quite takes the wind out of the sails for a holiday celebration like a lockdown… or does it? Commercialization seems to have taken some of the family traditions out of the holidays, where a stay-at-home order in some ways forces us to go back to our roots. At the same time, we can use technology to spread holiday cheer. Let’s take a look at both options.
Get the Kids in the Kitchen
Remember when Grandma made the pies and the kids helped? That wasn’t just about getting the meal done, but about handing down real skills and bonding experiences. Today, two-income households and big box stores mean kids are bonding with the microwave and the pies are coming with a plastic lid.
If you’re stuck at home, why not revive some holiday favorites? Make some traditional dishes from scratch or craft some homemade decorations. Note that some children may balk at this as something new to them, so it might help to concede to their choice of softly playing music in the background.
With so many of us constantly glued to technology, vitamin D levels are tanked as many children are unfamiliar with their own backyards. If at all possible, head outside to cook on the grill and play some games. Just the act of cooking out can give you and the kids a much-needed change of pace. Because shopping may be limited, get creative with the games to help compensate. We’ll help.
Egg toss: The object is to toss an egg to your partner without breaking it, taking one step back after each toss.
Horseshoes/ring toss: If you don’t have horseshoes, consider a modified ring toss game. All you really need to do is make two areas that can serve as a target to land objects. Use buckets, a piece of string on the ground, spray-painted circle or whatever you have handy. Then, give each side equal numbers of objects to toss in the hopes of landing them. If you can, make small circles within the large circles so you can create a scaled scoring system.
Modified tennis/volleyball: If you have an actual net and corresponding ball, fantastic! If not, just tie a rope or string across the yard using the fence, two chairs, or whatever you have handy that will support the “net.” Then, use rules similar to volleyball or tennis to play the game. If you need a ball, make one out of wadded up tape or you can even use a small cushion.
Scavenger Hunt: There are a couple of ways you can do this. If you can leave the house, contact neighbors to let them in on the fun. Have the kids look for items as they walk down the sidewalk or ride in the car. These items can be in windows, lawns, porches or on the houses themselves. If you can’t leave the house, challenge the kids to a scavenger hunt in your own yard, where they can look for things in the trellis, mailbox, fence, grass, garden or potted plants.
Play the Music
“Back in the day” it wasn’t unusual for people to practice their music at home rather than plugging in their earbuds. On a summer night, many relaxed to the sounds of neighbors strumming softly from their porches. Whether music is holiday-themed or not, it can be very uplifting. Encourage your neighbors or those who live with you to embrace their musical side and share their skills for the day.
Connect With Technology
Don’t let your loved ones spend a holiday alone. Instead, download an app that lets you video chat or use an existing one you already have. Put the laptop at a spot on the table so they can enjoy the meal with you. No, it’s not the same as enjoying holidays together in person, but it’s far better than not enjoying them together at all.
Focus on the Spirit
Over the years it’s gotten easier to focus on things like gifts and parties, to the extent that the spirit of some holidays is lost altogether. This might be a great time to share stories of how you celebrated this holiday as a kid, or to just talk about what the holiday really means and how it’s changed. However you do it, make sure to let your loved ones know you’re happy to share it with them in any way you can, because that’s the point.
It’s easy to let yourself be dragged down by what you can’t do over the holiday, but with some effort and creativity, you can flip the switch. Lockdown may limit the ways in which you celebrate your holidays, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and celebrate them at all.
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